Immigrant… (a re-run)

I am re-posting the blog that I wrote in January, 2017 in regards to my take on immigrants in the wake of the various bans on immigrants. I repeat it now because I continue to be distressed over similar issues, namely DACA and those children who have been pulled from the arms of parents (and may never be reunited). It is just a different way of looking at the issue of immigrants.

Immigrant…
A couple of years ago my husband and I had our genome mapped through 23andme.com. I have to say I was surprised to find out what my genes said about me (and my ethnic makeup). While I knew that I had mostly Scots-Irish ancestors based on my grandmother’s genealogy quest in the late sixties, I didn’t know much more than that.

What I found out is that I am a mutt, a Heinz 57, if you will. My genetic makeup includes sub-Saharan African ancestry, Native American ancestry, Asian ancestry, and European ancestry including 2.6% Neanderthal. In other words, I am a human being with parts from across the globe. I don’t know how all these parts came to be. I don’t know all the pieces to my genetic puzzle; I just know that based on my genomic results, I am black, brown, red, yellow, and white.

I am a United States citizen because I was born here. It’s as simple as that…for me, that is. Yet, somewhere in the past, I had ancestors who weren’t born here, who came here as immigrants and became citizens. So, by extension, I am an immigrant, too.

The question is: based upon my definition above, how many people in the United States can claim that they are not immigrants then? If one is fully Native American, then yes, they may be the exception. Otherwise, most of us are immigrants even if we haven’t had our genome mapped or checked out our genealogy.

The United States was a country founded on immigrants. Many of the immigrants came because of religious persecution. Others came for other reasons. Some came, not of their own volition, but because they were enslaved. Whatever the reason, people came to these shores and found a new home. Some could only speak their own language when they first got here, but usually in a short amount of time, they became assimilated.

Because we are a nation of immigrants, we should be willing to take a chance on people who are just like us, that is, immigrants, no matter their race, creed, religion, nationality, or sexual orientation. Except now, many people are being denied the opportunity to come to this country. Our borders are being sealed off and fear and lies are being spread by our leaders. It is a scary time for all…for those who would love to come here and can’t; for those who have family both here and there; for those who have lived here all their lives, but see discrimination for those who may be different from us.

I am saddened and depressed by the vitriolic rhetoric and orders that are being signed that affect so many. It’s like a bad dream, and it is hard to believe this is the United States. That it has become this reality of targeting ethnic groups, targeting nationalities, targeting religions, and targeting anyone who is different. Who will be next?

I am an immigrant. Aren’t you?

#IamanImmigrant

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BP: Haiku Window, Stained Glass

This week’s theme at the Haiku Foundation’s Haiku Window was stained glass. KJ Munro chose one of the two I submitted. It is as follows:

broken heart
lead came fixes
the stained glass

Nancy Brady, 2018

For those unfamiliar with stained glass, the use of lead came is one method of connecting the pieces of glass together. I wasn’t aware of the terminology until just recently. It was only when Ken Lee, my instructor, guided me through my first stained glass piece.

As an aside, my husband and I rescued some colored pieces of glass from an old door on a dilapidated shed on our property. The shed was torn down at the time of our acquisition of our house, but I wanted to do something with the glass. It took several years before I got up the courage to give it a go, and with Ken’s expert help, I finally finished the piece in February of this year. It hangs in our kitchen window.

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I Can’t Write My Story Because I’m Not A Writer

From the author of The Memory Box…it is definitely worth reading for those who may not consider themselves writers.

Eva Lesko Natiello

typewriter medium photo by Anton Vakulenko

Someone said this to me the other night at an event I attended for people who have consulting businesses. This guy is a consultant with a compelling personal story, and he’s been told numerous times that he should write a memoir.

Earlier in the evening, I told a group of people my own professional journey from one career as an executive in the cosmetics industry to a novelist and consultant and I noticed his rapt attention. I told them that when I wrote my first novel, I wasn’t a writer. And that I wasn’t even sure what I wrote was a novel. It was that statement that resonated with this guy.

“I can’t write my story because I’m not a writer,” he later said to me.

What is it about us writers? We need permission. We need somebody with writerly authority to tap the sword on…

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The Color of….

From Barb, a poem of outrage about shameful events happening right now.

From the Keyboard

Screen Shot 2018-06-18 at 11.26.41 AM

Because I can’t find the right prose. Because I am heartsick and furious that hate has been stoked, allowed to fester, and gain a stronghold here, and that so many are content to be silent, complicit in the resulting cruelty. And because my great-grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins were victims of such hate and cruelty….

THE COLOR OF….

It is not rose,
much more like snow
that coats each velvet petal,
or dims an apple’s blush,
the pear’s suggestive charm.

Nor is it fire,
for each hypnotic flame
dispels the notion once contained,
no, more like glass, it is,
transparent, hard,
and always set to crack.

It is not grass or stone.
No, more like ice,
much more,
an army of stalagmites rising from the depths,
unyielding and unbound,
crystalline and honed:

the frigid glow of outrage.

©2017 All Rights Reserved

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Grace Said

Words of wisdom. My husband, also an author, says the same thing. Great minds think alike, Michael. Michael is right…don’t think, write! Michael is the author of other several books including “Everything Not Known” and “Life Lessons with Savanna.”

Michael Seidel, writer

I consider this very apt. I don’t know how often I encounter people who tell me they’ve been thinking about writing a book, or they want to write a book. If you’re a writer, you don’t tell others; you just begin.

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Saturday’s Bumper Sticker

Or we did and have become bums (albeit retired bums)!

Thanks Michael for your bumper sticker.

Or we did and have become bums (albeit retired bums)! Thanks Michael for your bumper sticker.

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The Journey of a Thousand Miles… (April)

…begins with a single step. This pedometer geek was not slacking towards the thousand mile goal although slacking is definitely seen in regards to this post about April’s steps and reads. It is now June and other things have gotten in the way of writing, but hopefully this is the end of it.

Toward the goal of a thousand miles, 120 miles were logged on the pedometer. Because of this, approximately 512 miles are left to go. In 2017, it took until the middle of December before the threshold of 1000 miles was met; this year the goal is to complete it earlier.

In regards to the number of steps that were logged on the pedometer throughout the month, there were 282,202 steps, averaging over 9000 steps a day, with 56,262 of them considered aerobic steps. There were 12 days in which the goal of at least 10,000 steps was obtained.

As for reading, results were mixed for both of the bookcrossing.com challenges in which this pedometer geek reader participates. In the yearlong pages-read challenge, 3,766 pages were read bringing the total for the year to 10,894 of the 40,000 pages challenged.

Despite the failure of the previous quarter, the quarterly Set-it-yourself (SIY) challenge for the months April through June began with a less aggressive goal of reading 13 books. Many of the books were uncompleted from the first quarter’s SIY and make up many from the list. Only 2 books were completed during the month leaving another 11 to finish in the following months.

Still, 14 books and 2 novellas were read during the month. Of these 10 were written by authors who were new to this reader. The genres varied and included mainstream, romance, suspense, fantasy, and literary novels as well as a book of poetry. Eight of the books were read in an e-book format. It was diverse reading although the romance genre, both contemporary and historical, dominated.

In April, the following books were read:
Dunbar by Edward St. Aubyn
End Game by Lisa Renee Jones
Card of Fate: Poems of a Gambling Addiction by Duke of Quails
The Wooden Sea by Jonathan Carroll
Halloween Frost by Jennifer Estep
A Karma Girl Christmas by Jennifer Estep
Just Toying Around… by Rhonda Nelson
Playing with Temptation by Ericka Wilde
Amethyst by Lauren Royal
My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry by Fredrik Backman *
The Keys to My Diary~Fern by Ann Omasta
Almost Missed You by Jessica Strawser *
In All My Wishes by Ciara Knight
True Colors by Kristin Hannah
Friends with Partial Benefits by Luke Young
The Good Liar by Catherine McKenzie

Without going into too much detail, here is a very brief rundown of the books.

Two of the books, Dunbar and Almost Missed You, were extensively reviewed on http://www.pedometergeek.wordpress.com.

End Game is the fourth and final book in a romance series featuring the same couple.

The Duke of Quails poetry book, as the name suggests, is all about the addictive power of gambling and how it negatively affects the person and their friends and family.

Carroll’s novel is a surrealistic literary novel about a man and his three-legged dog.

Both of the novellas by Jennifer Estep are companion pieces to two of her series, the Mythos Academy (YA) series and the Bigtime series respectively.

Authors Nelson, Wilde, Omasta, Knight, and Young have all written contemporary romances while Lauren Royal’s is a historical romance. Unique among them is Luke Young’s romance as it has a decidedly male spin on the genre.

Fredrik Backman’s novel is a mainstream novel about a bullied, young girl who discovers friends as she goes about on a quest for her dying grandmother.

Hannah’s novel is also a mainstream novel of three sisters splintered over an event and their path to forgiveness and redemption.

McKenzie’s novel is a suspense novel about three women whose lives are drastically changed when a building is blown apart. All three are living with lies, but who is the good liar?

That’s it in a nutshell. The asterisked books are from the SIY challenge.

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